Superstitions when moving home

Some people find the perfect home but are reluctant to move house when they find out they are moving to 13 Smith Close or flat number 666.
Believe it or not, the great British public are highly superstitious and even desperate first time buyers are put off from buying a property that could seem unlucky. This goes to show that superstitions do play an important part in the moving home process.flat666
It is said that one in ten people are affected by triskaidekaphobia (a fear of the number 13) and without always being aware of it, many people avoid fulfilling important plans such as moving home on Friday the 13th.
Suffolk County Council felt so strongly about people’s views on this matter they asked a recent property development company to avoid numbering a house ‘thirteen’ as they were certain that this property would not sell.
Although it is possible to change the number on your house, many people still feel that the property has the curse of the old number lurking below it and would rather avoid moving house altogether than move to a house with that dreaded number.
It isn’t just numbers that people are superstitious about when moving home. Some people refuse to buy a house from someone who has been divorced or is moving because of a death or murder. They feel that the house has negative vibes surrounding it which could seep into their lives.
In areas where there are large communities of Chinese residents, the most popular houses are those which have lucky door numbers. The number four is avoided at all costs as Chinese language translates number four as a word which is similar to ‘death’ in Mandarin and Cantonese.number13
Many property developers in England are aware of Feng Shui beliefs and avoid properties numbered 4, 13, 14 or 24. Six is a lucky number as it signifies wealth and people will pay a small fortune for a property with a number six.Vist our new meeting rooms in london.


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Moving home – DIY style

When moving home, the big question is should you do it yourself or hire a removal company? Many people prefer to save money and complete their home move themselves but is the DIY approach really that cost effective?
Steve Jordan of the British Association of Removers says that moving house DIY style could be a costly affair. You lose money if you have to take a day off work, van hire can be costly and the whole process of loading and unloading can be very time consuming. So is a removal company more expensive than we think?

A basic home move from a one bedroom flat to a house across London with a no frills package can cost anywhere in the region £259 to £463 but does not offer any insurance cover or packing service.

A similar package for a home move from Sheffield to Harrogate can vary from £378 to £631. Prices rise for households that have a lot of possessions or items that need specialist handling.

If you want your home move to be even less stressful, you could ask for a packing service which will incur an extra fee. However, when you weigh up the time it could take to pack everything yourself, some people consider a price in the region of £300 -£400 for a three man team to pack your possessions, a small price to pay.removalvan

Then there is the peace of mind that added insurance cover will protect your valuable possessions should they become damaged. Some people consider the extra cost of a removal company more reassuring than the fear of having to live with the guilt of never being able to afford to replace hubby’s prized record collection.

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The things that make moving home worthwhile

Many people fear the thought of moving home as they have become accustomed to their old home and feel that they will never adjust to their new surroundings.
When you are just starting out in life, moving home can be an exciting adventure as you start out with very little and build up possessions and memories. However, when children come onto the scene and that next home move is vital, you suddenly realise just how attached you have become to that little place you called home.
Jennifer Harley felt exactly the same way and found it heart wrenching to take down pictures and ornaments from her home and pack them away. She described the experience as ‘watching something she loved, die a slow death’.
Luckily, the Harley family were moving just across the road so they were able to move their possessions slowly and ease the pain of stripping away the past.
When Jennifer finally made that crucial home move, she was devastated at how different her new house looked when all of the furnishings had been removed. She looked around at the bare walls and the emptiness and wondered how she would ever make that house a home.
As days went buy, she started unpacking boxes and gradually felt the house take on more character. She even stumbled across memorabilia from her school days and displayed old pictures on the walls.
Jennifer has now settled in and looking back on the whole terrifying experience of moving home, she realises that a house is just an empty structure and is just a house. It is not until you fill it with your possessions that it becomes a home.

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Moving home for Christmas

Estate agents are bracing themselves for the season when all people really want for Christmas is to move house. Now that the Easter and summer holidays are over, people are preparing to move during the Christmas break.
Those who were trying so desperately to move house during the summer are now looking towards the winter to sell their property and move before the New Year.
If you are moving home and would like to rent a property, many tenancy agreements will come to an end in December. Landlords are desperately looking for new tenants during December time so there should be plenty of choice available. Some may even offer cheaper rent than usual.
Whilst shops and estate agents are busy this year, removal companies are also booked up. Many people put off booking a removal van until the exchange of their property is completed. The problem with this is finding a removal company at the last minute especially in the lead up to the holiday season.
It is important to contact a removal company at least six weeks before moving home. This way, you are more prepared if your exchange goes through quicker than planned. If things do become delayed and you have booked in advance, a removal company is more likely to be understanding. Those who ring up out of the blue and demand a removal company the next day may receive a less courteous response!

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Moving home – but where to?

During the past year, a fifth of residents in the UK have considered moving home and 10% are already embarking on a home move. But where do the Brits want to live?

The countryside is top favourite with 34% of people expressing a preference for a rural setting. Second favourite is a coastal location with a fifth of people moving home to be by the sea. The third most popular location for a home move is a quaint village. This particularly appeals to the 25 to 34 year olds.

When asked which country Brits would consider moving home for, surprisingly enough, the UK came out as the most popular choice with 35% of people voting for good old Britannia. The second most popular international home move was America and thirdly Spain.

People preferred modern detached houses when considering a home move and 22% of people opted for this property type. Almost 18% of people said that they would prefer to design their own home and 17% of people felt that a bungalow would suit their needs. Pensioners particularly love bungalows and 43% said that they would move house if they found something suitable.

The most important room in the house is the lounge. When people move house, the lounge is almost always the first room which is decorated and furnished. It is also considered the most important room for people who are not moving home. Over 60% of people said that they spend the majority of their time in the lounge. The second most popular room is the kitchen with bedrooms only being a favourite amongst the younger generation.

For some, the design and decoration of the living room is the most important decision when viewing a new home. Many have turned down a home move simply because they were not impressed with the design of the living room.

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Tips For Cleaning Leather Sofa

You’ve been waiting for your leather sofa to arrive for what feels like forever and now that it’s arrived, you can’t wait to sink in and watch your favourite movie with a nice bowl of popcorn.

Now let’s be real, your sofa will never look the same and on that first day because no matter what you do, it will inevitably come into contact with spills and scuffs that will make it look well used! However, with proper care and consistent maintenance, your sofa will continue to look great.

When you purchase your leather sofa, it should come with a manual on how to care for it. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning and if you use a cleaning product, test at the back of your sofa first so it’s less conspicuous should it leave a mark.

For general upkeep try to give your leather sofa a quick clean once a week, as the more often you clean, the less dirt builds up and stains will be easier to remove. Use a good brand soap and lather it on a cloth then wash the sofa. Remember not to use too much water for your cleaning, and polish as usual.

For specific stains, the way to get rid of it will depend on what caused the spill:

1. Water-based liquid
Just blot the stain until it disappears and let your sofa dry out by itself. Don’t rub the affected area as this will only make the stain spread even further to other parts of your sofa.

Simply blot the spill with a dry cloth. Do not use water or leather cleaner just yet. Continue to blot the stain till the cloth comes back dry. Leave it for a day or two. The stain would settle into the sofa and will not be visible. If it is visible, just use the leather sofa cleaner to do the job.

If you encounter an ink stain, dip some cotton wool into alcohol and rub on the affected area. Dry with a hair dryer. If the stain is still visible, try using an acetone-free nail polish remover by rubbing a small amount over the ink stain with a cloth. Once the stain is gone, clean any traces of the nail polish remover with a leather sofa cleaner.

4.Ordinary dark stain
Stubborn stain that you can’t seem to get rid of? Try a home-made mixture of one part lemon juice with one part potassium hydrogen tart. Mix into a paste and rub on the stain. Leave the solution to work for about ten minutes. After which, apply another layer of the paste and work it into your sofa. Remove the mixture with either a damp sponge or a damp sponge with soap.

Final piece of advice: Whenever you use any leather cleaning, it should generally be followed by a quick application of quality leather conditioning cream to keep your leather sofa in tiptop condition!

Buying Furniture Online Versus Buying From A Store
Furniture is an investment that you want to last. If you are going to spend a lot of money on buying furniture – it pays to do your research and find out exactly what you want.

Buying Furniture from a Store
The advantage of shopping in bricks and mortar stores is that you can see, feel and sit on the furniture you are interested in. You can also see it grouped with other furniture to inspire you and get the thinking juices flowing. If you are unsure of exactly the type of a particular piece you want, you can get ideas from the displays. You can sample all the sofas then see what you find comfortable, as well as what fabric you like the texture of, and what colours and styles you prefer. Being in a real store also gives you the advantage of being able to ask the salesman detailed questions about the furniture. How is it made? Where is it made? Another advantage is that depending on the piece or pieces you are interested in, you can arrange private delivery or deliver them yourself. This will save significantly on delivery charges.

Buying Furniture Online
If you decide to shop online, you should know exactly what you want because purchasing furniture online takes away from the tactile experience. You can visit stores first, decide on your purchase there and then order it online in the privacy of your own home, without the queues, trying to find a salesman, and without feeling the pressure to buy the matching sofa, coffee table and professional cleaning products! Quite often buying online without the massive overheads that a retail store will have effects on the price tag too. You may get a much better price after a bit of searching online. When you buy online, just make sure you know the returns policy, cost of delivery and check all the measurements first!

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5 Tips To Healthy Cooking

In this day and age, we can’t help but be concerned about our health – especially when it comes to what we eat! We all want to be healthy and live longer with no lingering illness, so it is indeed a good idea to be concerned with how and what we are stuffing ourselves with, and simple things we can do each day to keep healthy!

Here’s some useful tips on how to cook more healthy meals and make simple changes to your favourite family recipes:

1. Lessen the oil
Even if extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative to other edible oils, it is still fat. Our body needs a healthy dose of fat to function properly, and so we do need them, but if you are used to using a cup of oil every time you cook, try using just half of that.
2. Lessen the salt
Salt is also another ingredient that we need, not only for our body to function well, but also for us to enjoy more the flavour of the food we’re eating. Some favourite foods are quite salty to start with – like bacon – but we just have to eat less of them these days.
3. Try boiling your meat (stews) instead of frying them
Meat, instead of being fried, can be boiled or cooked in stews. This will definitely lessen your fat intake since you won’t be adding oil while cooking. If you can get away with stews when deciding to cook a certain meal, then go ahead.
4. Try steam cooking
Steamed dishes are healthier compared to frying or grilling and a feature in a lot of Asian recipes. Aside from that, they also cut down time hovering over your stove!
5. Incorporate more vegetables to your dishes
I guess we just can’t stress enough the importance of adding vegetables to our meal; not only do they provide us with the necessary nutrients; they are also good for our digestive system.

Recipe – Tossed Basil Roasted Potatoes

This is a quick, delicious vegetable recipe that is a snap to prepare and tastes awesome. It is sure to be a favourite in any household!

4-5 medium potatoes
¼ cup canola or olive oil
Basil to taste
Salt to taste
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Coat bottom of a 9 x 11 glass or metal baking pan with oil.
Slice potatoes about a ¼ inch thick and dip in oil on both sides in the pan. Sprinkle salt to taste over the potatoes followed by basil and then Parmesan cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven on the top shelf for 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Note: if you want more potatoes just add another layer.

A sneaky tip for parents: add some sliced carrots to the mix as a way to get stubborn kids to eat more vegetables! Try out this yummy vegetable recipe tonight and let us know what you think!

Ways To Get Kids To Eat Their Greens
Getting kids to eat their vegetables is one of the most challenging tasks to some parents. If your vegetable hating children are making you pull your hair out in frustration – here’s some ideas on how to get kids to eat the fruit and vegetables they need to stay healthy!

Train them from the beginning
There are some studies also say that children who are breastfed will normally eat more green than those who are not. Many believed that what mothers ate during their pregnancies will dictate what their kids will eat too. Therefore, pregnant mums are advised to take in more serves of fruits and vegetable daily.

When babies start eating solid foods, parents should try to introduce as many varieties of fruits and vegetables to them. This will help them to slowly get accustomed to the different taste and texture. If they rejected the first few times, do not feel despair as a few more tries will surely help in the end.

Make vegetables fun to eat
When kids enter the toddler years, they will start to pick their food and quite often shove away the greens. Try making the vegetables fun by using cookie cutters to cut out shapes and serving with healthy dips the kids will love to dip vegetable in.

Another fun way is to create a Bento Box set or Japanese Lunch Boxes where a mix of different vegetables and fruits are placed in a different section within the box with cute decorations. Trust me, this is one of the ways kids will eat their green!

Image taken from

Rotate the styles of preparations
Kids get bored very fast and parents have to know how to rotate their cooking styles to accommodate their kids. Don’t serve kids with just boiled vegetables every day. They will get sick of it! Try to cook your green in different styles everyday so your kids would not notice that they are still eating the same vegetables as the different styles gave different taste too!

Lastly, never force your kids to eat things they do not want!
Instant Noodles Can Be Nutritional Too

Although I love to cook, there are times when I get a little lazy and would love to skip all the fuss in the kitchen preparing a complete meal. For such times, digging out my favourite packet of instant noodles and turning it into a complete and nutritional noodle meal makes a quick and easy dinner!

It is always handy to keep some instant noodles at home as they’re a good meal replacement when you’re just too busy to cook a meal from scratch. Having just a bowl of noodle with the soup base is not very nutritional. However, with some creativity, we can always make our bowl of noodles into a healthy meal!

Try adding these side ingredients:

 Vegetables
Scavenge your fridge for some greens such as lettuce, shitake mushrooms or carrots. If you don’t keep fresh food around, try to keep a few packets of wakame (Japanese seaweed) so you can toss some into the noodles.

 Dried food
You can soak a few dried mushrooms, fu-chok or dried soy bean skin in with your noodles for instant added nutrition.

 Meat
When you visit the butcher, make sure you some extra slice of your choice of meat to be deep freeze. These often come in very handy as you can thaw some if you have nothing to cook but need the protein.

 Eggs
Eggs are a great addition to so many recipes. Simply hard boil one or just drop one into your soup and let it boil for a while before serving.

With the above, your bowl of instant noodles will taste just like what you would normally pay quite a bit for at a Chinese restaurant! So, why pay more for something you could do in a jiffy?

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